Some breaking news from Reuters about an updated deficit projection:
The Obama administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit projection to approximately $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion in a report next week, a senior administration official told Reuters on Friday.
The higher deficit figure, based on updated economic data, brings the White House budget office into line with outside estimates and gives further fuel to President Barack Obama’s opponents, who say his spending plans are too expensive in light of budget shortfalls.
At first glance, I’m inclined to give Obama credit for this, for updating his deficit forecasts at a politically inconvenient time. He’s pushing his health care plan pretty hard and this news gives a HUGE talking point to critics who say we just can’t afford it.
But of course there would never be a politically convenient time for this news to hit, not with the agenda to which Obama has committed himself.
And the way the news was announced is suspect. There were two deficit projections released this week. The good news — about this year’s deficit projection falling from $1.84 billion to $1.58 billion — was released mid-week. The bad news — about the 10-yr deficit projection rising 27% — was dumped at a very convenient time: late on a Friday in August, when Congress is out of town and most folks are on vacation.
On a related note, this week the deficit passed the latest $100 billion threshold, $11.7 trillion…
(Click chart to enlarge in new window)